Many people are dreaming about natural black hair, and you are the one of few who can brag that they have it!
Although it looks dazzling, taking care of black hair and getting that flawless African American hairstyle can be a bit tricky. The secret lies in finding the right products, which is why we are looking at the best flat irons for natural black hair.
Our team conducted extensive research on the topic. After spending hours by our computers, we managed to identify top-rated natural black hair straighteners.
We wanted to make your job even easier, so we included a detailed guide on how you should choose a flat iron. Take a look at questions to ask and factors to consider, and start your search for the perfect hair straightener.
By the end of the article, you will become an expert on the topic, and that should help to take care of your black hair to the next level!
Reviews of the Best Flat Irons for Natural Black Hair
1. ghd Platinum+ Professional Performance Styler
The flat iron developed by ghd offers something new to the users. Ultra-Zone technology has the capability of predicting your moves and what your hair needs.
Here is how that works – the straightener will recognize your natural black hair, as well as how fast your moves are. The heat will be at constant 365F, and the product will monitor it 250 times every second, which should ensure optimal heat control and minimize hair damage.
The appliance looks classy, but what is more important is that it features an ergonomic design. The manufacturer aligned the plates carefully for optimal performance. The fact that the iron heats up in 20 seconds is also a plus.
The product seems durable and long-lasting, and the only downside is a price, which is a bit higher when compared to other models. However, ghd Platinum+ does many other things right, which is why both professionals and individuals should consider adding it to their haircare routine. Read the full review → ghd Platinum+
2. BaBylissPRO Nano Titanium-Plated Ionic Straightening Iron
Owners of natural black hair need high heat to straighten their hair. That is where BaByliss Pro comes into play as it offers 450F of heat as long as you choose the highest temperature setting. If necessary, you can choose lower heat than that, too.
The flat iron utilizes titanium plates to straighten your hair while minimizing frizz and damage to your hair. The cord has a swivel function, and it is quite long, but it doesn’t fit tight in some power plugs. It is why you should be careful that you don’t accidentally pull the cord out while using the iron.
Apart from that, this straightening iron seems easy to use. The bottom of the appliance manages to stay cool so that you can work with the straightener comfortably. It is what makes this product attractive for both individual users and hair salons.
Read the full review → Babyliss Babnt2094Tn Nano Titanium
3. HAI Classic Convertable Professional Flat Iron
While high heat is essential for natural black hair, it is also important to distribute that heat evenly. HAI has years of experience in designing hair care products, and they seem to be proud of their Classic Convertable flat iron.
The “convertable” part of the name is due to various heat settings. For natural black hair, you can go up to 410F, especially if your hair is coarse and highly-textured.
The important thing is that the tightener is easy to grab in your hands, as well as press, twirl, or do anything else you want with your hair. Black hair owners will appreciate that the iron also reduces frizz and static.
Although the product is strong and durable, it is also a bit bulky, which is why you should have enough room for it on the countertop. However, the iron’s performance makes up for every inch of the space it takes!
Read the full review → HAI Classic C-0010
4. Remington S7901 Wet 2 Straight Wet/Dry Straightening Iron
The great thing about this hair straightener is that you can apply it on wet hair without blow-drying it first. The flat iron can achieve a 400F heat that will help to straighten even the strong natural black hair. At the same time, the product will evaporate water from your wet hair. You will know it is working by noticing steam and hearing hissing sounds!
Don’t worry because Remington S9701 is designed in a way that won’t damage your hair. The reputable brand allows 26 different heat adjustments for finding the optimal temperature, and you can easily control the appliance thanks to the digital display. The mixture of ceramic and tourmaline ensures that the straightener heats up quickly.
It will take a bit of practice to learn how to use this flat iron properly. Until you do that, you may face hair pull-outs, but fortunately, they happen rarely.
5. HSI Professional Glider | Ceramic Tourmaline Ionic Hair Straightener
If you ever used hair straighteners, the chances are you’ve heard of HIS Professional Glider. It is one of the most popular flat irons on the market, and it seems like a great product. The straightener features a one-inch plate that you can use for both short and long hair, and even make bangs.
The packaging is amazing as you get a travel case and a protective glove. The glove should help you to handle high heat, and this iron can produce a temperature of up to 450F. The adjustable heat can vary from 140F to 450F, which makes the appliance suitable for all hair types.
The tourmaline and crystal plates can deliver the shiny hair you were looking for, but it may take a bit more time than usual if you have particularly strong hair. However, even if you need to pass some areas for a couple of times, the results will be impressive at the end.
6. Bed Head Pixie 1/2″ Straightener
What do you say about a compact hair straightener? Bed Head designed a flat iron that has ½-inch plates. The primary target is users with short hair, but others can also use it, and it can be convenient as it doesn’t take a lot of space in a suitcase. If you are heading on a trip, this straightener can be a great companion.
The downside is obvious – you will need to be patient and work your hair in small sections. However, despite the compact size, Pixie can deliver up to 430F of heat. That should be enough even for people who have strong black hair.
The appliance should heat up in approximate 30 seconds, and it cools down quickly thanks to the ceramic-tourmaline components used. If you dream about having shiny hair while reducing frizz, this flat iron can be a smart choice.
Flat Iron for Black Hair Buying Guide
It is easy to get confused with so many hair straightening appliances available on the market. That is why we prepared a buying guide that will clear everything up, and help you choose the ideal flat iron for your needs.
First, we will get to know the features that these devices offer. Next, we will discover the factors to keep in mind during the buying process. Finally, we will tell you more about using flat irons for black hair, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to this topic.
What Are the Most Important Features of the Best Flat Iron for Black Hair?
The first thing we will do is to get to know different features of flat irons. You may encounter these specifications when reading product descriptions and reviews:
- Material – the crucial thing to consider is the material of the plates. It should vary from ceramic to tourmaline and titanium, or the combination of these.
- Plate size – the size of the plates determines suitability for different hair lengths. It can vary from less than one inch to more than two inches.
- Maximum heat – this lets you know about the maximum temperature that the flat iron can achieve.
- Heat up time – how much time will your appliance need to achieve the desired temperature? That can vary from 15 to 60 seconds or more.
- Automatic shutoff – it can be one of the crucial safety features, especially if you often leave your appliances turned on once you finish working with them.
- Cord length – although a short cord can be more useful if the power outlet is nearby, it is vital that it is long enough to reach the preferred socket.
- Swivel cord – many cords have a 360-degree swivel. That can be crucial for beginners as it makes the use of the appliance a lot easier.
- Price – the cost of flat irons can significantly vary. Although you want to consider other features first, it is also vital for the price to fit your budget.
- Warranty – the manufacturer will guarantee that the product will work in the specified timeframe.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Flat Iron for Black Hair
Now that you know more about the basic features of a flat iron, it is time to consider how they affect your choice. Here are the factors you should consider when purchasing a flat iron.
Is It the Right Choice for My Hair Type?
The first thing you want to ensure is that the flat iron is the right choice for your type of hair. For example, let’s say that your hair is curly. In that case, you should check out the buyer’s guide of flat irons for curly hair. In this article, we are focusing on strong black hair, so let’s talk more about it.
As you probably know, black hair is usually quite strong and coarse. Many owners of thin and sensitive hair envy those characteristics. However, everything comes with advantages and drawbacks.
While you have voluminous and dazzling hair, the drawback is that it is difficult to straighten it. That is why you should look for a flat iron that has a maximum heat that reaches 400-450F. The more, the better rule applies here, which means you should aim for an appliance that gives you as much heat as possible.
Is the Flat Iron the Right Pick for My Hair Length?
The next thing you should consider is your hair length. That is where the size of the plates comes into play. Here are the general guidelines you should follow:
- Short hair – if it is shorter than shoulder-length, you can consider plates that are less than one-inch in diameter. Otherwise, anything from 0.75 to 1.25 inches should work.
- Medium-long hair – if your hair is of average length, you can’t go wrong with a one-inch diameter. Even if you increase the plate size to 1.5 inches, you should still get the results you want.
- Very long hair – if your hair is extremely long, the best choice might be to go with the plates that have a 1.5-inch diameter or bigger. You can still use one-inch plates; it will only take more time to get the desired hairstyle.
Did you know that you can use the flat iron to curl your hair, too? It is another function of this versatile appliance, and the plate size is one of the crucial factors when
choosing a flat iron for curling hair. If you go with a small diameter, you will get tight curls. On the other hand, big plates will secure those loose beach waves.
How Can I Benefit from an Adjustable Temperature Range?
We are living in the era of high-tech products, and flat irons became more advanced, too. One of the “modern” features is an adjustable heat range. That enables you to choose from multiple settings depending on the specifics of your hair.
The number of adjustments available depends on the flat iron you choose. Some appliances only have three or four settings to choose from, while others will allow you to set the temperature in small increments.
The general rule is that black hair requires at least 400F of heat. In some cases, it might take up to 450F to straighten it properly. But it is important to find the right temperature level for your hair. That is why the experts advise to start slowly and increase the heat until you notice desired results.
And that is the major benefit of temperature customization in flat irons. You have more freedom to pick the heat that works for your hair without damaging it.
What Plate Material If I Use a Flat Iron for Black Hair?
Reputable manufacturers are aware of the importance of using premium quality materials for their flat iron plates. As a user, you should know that you should avoid classic metal plates without any coating. These probably won’t be durable, and they have a big chance of damaging your hair.
That being said, here is the choice of materials you can pick from for your flat iron:
- Ceramic – why is this the most common pick of flat iron designers? It is because ceramic secures an optimal ratio of performance and cost. You can rest assured that it can ensure high temperatures while securing optimal heat distribution.
- Titanium – this material hasn’t been used for flat irons for a long time. However, the reason why manufacturers embraced it is its heat distribution. It can achieve high temperatures quickly while ensuring that users get even heat throughout the plates. On top of that, it is very durable. If you drop the plates on the floor, titanium will ensure that they remain damage-free.
- Tourmaline – it is a component that often goes together with ceramic. Tourmaline coating ensures better durability and heat distribution. It is a way to step up the ceramic game and deliver more reliable plates.
Is the Flat Iron Comfortable to Use?
Here is a crucial question that you want to consider. Comfort is important for every user, but it is particularly critical for newbies, and professionals who work with flat irons for hours every day.
Let’s take a look at the factors that we consider contribute to user’s comfort:
- Handle – the handle is important because you need to have an optimal grip. That means you should be capable of grabbing the handle with your hand and maneuver the flat iron effortlessly. Additionally, the handle should be slip-resistant to avoid dropping the appliance accidentally in the middle of the work.
- Control button positioning – the placement of control buttons can be vital for comfort using flat irons. The buttons will usually include the on/off switch, as well as buttons, or a dial that adjusts the temperature. The whole idea is that they shouldn’t bother you when operating the flat iron. Most manufacturers position the buttons in the front or the back to minimize the chances of triggering them accidentally.
- Weight – although the majority of flat irons are light, some are lighter than the others. It might not seem like 0.5 pounds makes a lot of difference, but you will start noticing it when using the appliance for a long time.
- 360-degree swivel cord – there is nothing that makes your maneuvering easier than a 360-degree swivel cable. That minimizes the chance of tangling and enables you to move the appliance any way you want.
What Other Factors Are Worth Considering?
Let’s take a look at some other factors worth checking out before choosing a flat iron for black hair:
- Safety features – these include an automatic shutoff function that turns off the unit after it is active for a while (from 30 to 120 minutes, depending on the appliance). Additionally, it is a confirmation that the flat iron meets with safety standards. A safety feature can also be a handle and top that remain cool to the touch, as well as a base that is not round as it prevents the device from dropping on the floor accidentally.
- Dual voltage support – if the device offers this function, you can use it anywhere in the world. It will work with power sockets that use electricity in any range from 100 to 240V.
- Design – you want the flat iron you use to be visually attractive. That can be particularly important if you are a professional, and plan to use the appliance in a salon.
- Brand – ultimately, picking a reputable brand means you will be getting a high-quality product.
How to Straighten Black Hair Correctly
You can find the perfect flat iron, but that won’t be worth anything if you don’t know how to use it. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a flat iron for black hair correctly.
How to Flat Iron Black Hair: 3 Steps
Step 1: Prepare Your Hair for Ironing
The first thing to do is to get your hair in the right shape for straightening. That involves getting it clean, which means washing and drying it. Your hair needs to be clean because any dirt or used cosmetic products may contribute to hair damage. And besides, straight (and any other) hair looks far better when it is clean!
Step 2: Activate Your Flat Iron
It is time to turn on your flat iron and choose the desired temperature. It may take a bit of experimenting to find the ideal heat for your hair.
While the device is heating up, apply a heat-resistant spray to your hair. That way, you reduce the odds of damage caused by heat and promote hair health.
Step 3: Straighten the First Segment
You want to divide your hair into sections. Those sections should fit into your flat iron. If you have particularly long hair, consider making two layers with separate sections.
Now, start from the bottom layers, and grab the first segment of your hair. Place it inside the plates and move it from the roots, and in the opposite direction from your head.
You want the movements to be steady, but avoid keeping your hair inside the plates for more than several seconds.
Once you finish with the first hair segment, move to the next sections. Repeat the process until no segments are remaining.
Make sure to allow the device to cool down before storing it.
Straightening Tips for Black Hair
The basic principles of using a flat iron for black hair are simple, but the devil lies in the details. That is why we are offering important tips for perfecting your hair straightening skills.
Make Sure to Dry Your Hair
We are starting with the basics, but only because many users miss to take care of this. Unless the flat iron instructions specify differently, you should only use these appliances with dry hair.
And that means completely dry hair. In other words, you can’t leave it damp even if you are in a rush. Wet hair brings a big risk of frying and ruining your hair, and you don’t want that to happen. It is why you should take your time and dry it thoroughly before using a flat iron.
Use a Smoothing Serum or Balm
Many users are aware of the importance of shampoos, conditioners, and heat-resistant spray. However, they often miss using a smoothing serum or balm, and that can be crucial for black hair.
These formulas will assist with the straightening process. It is vital to pick a product that offers admirable humidity resistance. That can be critical if you are living in an environment known for moisture. Since it causes frizz, humidity can be a big enemy of long-lasting results of hair straightening.
Why Can Wrapping Hair at Night Play a Crucial Role?
It is not easy to straighten black hair, but an even bigger problem is to uphold your new hairstyle. You can use the best flat irons for thick hair, but the results may not last for more than a day or two. Fortunately, you can use some tricks to ensure your new hairstyle lasts longer. One of the crucial tips you want to apply is to wrap your hair at night.
Taking care of your hair during the night will ensure that you don’t destroy all the hard work you’ve done when straightening your hair. Apart from wrapping, you should cover your hair with satin or silk. Once you get up in the morning, you will only need to comb it.
Common Mistakes While Straightening Black Hair
Nobody is perfect, and the chances are you will make a mistake or two during the hair straightening process. That especially applies to beginners, which is why we are sharing common errors that happen to newbies. Read them carefully to ensure you avoid them in the future.
You Are Not Treating Your Hair Well
Each hair type requires optimal conditioning. It is by showing you care for your hair that you set everything you need to style it the way you want.
While you are washing your hair, make sure to use the right shampoo and conditioner combination. Once you finish with the washing process, consider using a smoothing serum or balm. Finally, before you activate the flat iron, apply a heat-resistant formula to minimize potential hair damage.
It is important to mention that you shouldn’t use a product that contains hair oils before ironing. Oils can lead to hair damage, which is why you should only use them after finishing with using your flat iron.
You Are Going with the Highest Temperature Right Away
Yes, high heat is the right way to straighten black hair. However, the word “high” is relative. If your hair is only moderately thick and coarse, you might achieve the desired results with 375F.
On the other hand, perhaps your hair is so aggressive that it is very hard to tame it. In that case, you will probably want to go with the highest 450F temperature. But it’s not wise to use the highest setting right away!
The idea behind this is simple – the higher the heat, the bigger the chances of frying and damaging your hair. It is crucial for your hair health to keep the temperature as low as possible. That is why you want to start with low heat settings and work your way up from there.
The Hair Segments Are Bigger Than What Your Appliance Can Handle
When it comes to flat irons, size matters. In theory, you can use a hair straightener of any size. However, it will take longer to iron long hair with compact-sized plates.
Another thing to consider is that you should adjust the hair segments to the plates of your device. If you are using a one-inch plate, the segments of your hair shouldn’t be larger than that. Furthermore, you should keep them at about 90% of the plates’ size.
That way, you will ensure maximum results with every single pass. It will prevent the need for making multiple passes, which can increase the chance of damaging your hair.
FAQs & Answers
- Q: Should you straighten your afro hair?
A: Are you dreaming of straightening your hair, and trying out that style? If the answer is yes, there is no reason why you shouldn’t straighten it. It might take a bit more effort than with regular hair, but it will be worth it.
- Q: How many passes at a single hair segment should you make?
A: It would be ideal if you could get the desired result with a single pass at each hair segment. However, we are aware that black hair can be coarse and resistant. That is why you may need a second pass on some sections. If you do make multiple passes, make sure that they are swift, and avoid holding your hair inside the appliance for too long.
- Q: How often can you use a flat iron?
A: The general rule is that you shouldn’t use a flat iron too often. If it is possible, aim to use the appliance once a week. Make sure you handle the straightening process thoroughly and by following the instructions. If necessary, you can use the flat iron once again during the week. However, try to limit that use to handling imperfections only.
Here’s how a ceramic and titanium flat iron compare in some key areas.
It is not easy to tame African American hair, especially if you want to keep it straight. You will have to use the right combination of hair products and ensure to take all the right steps at the right time. As long as you optimize the care for your hair, you can have any hairstyle you want.
The crucial appliance to help you straighten your hair is a flat iron. Since you can find hundreds of various hair straighteners on the market, we hope that this buying guide made your choice easier. We tried to single out the best flat irons for black hair, and point out their pros and cons in our reviews.
Our buying guide section should’ve helped you to learn everything you needed to know about these devices. At this point, you should have the necessary knowledge to handle your afro hair properly, and enjoy that straight hairstyle you always wanted!